Reverse Mortgage vs Home Equity in Retirement Planning

Reverse Mortgage vs Home Equity in Retirement Planning in 2023

Reverse Mortgage vs Home Equity in Retirement Planning

It’s supposed to be a time for you to unwind as you become older. This could be your chance to live life to the fullest once more, with your family hopefully grown up and taking care of themselves and more time on your hands now that you’re not working.

The issue is that new hobbies and vacation plans require some funding. Additionally, there is a chance that additional costs, such as those for healthcare, unexpected family needs, and in some circumstances full-time caring, may arise as you age. As a result of rising life expectancy rates, your financial plan may need to account for a significant amount of time after retirement.

In today’s challenging economic environment, rising interest rates make various types of loans or credit imprudent and growing inflation reduces the value of cash holdings. Due to inflation making homes more desirable, many seniors are attempting to unlock value from them. But how can you effectively access your home’s monetary value?

The benefits and downsides of two common options, home equity loans and reverse mortgages, are discussed in this article along with an explanation of each.

A home equity loan is what?

You can borrow money using a home equity loan and the value of your house as collateral. You are permitted to borrow up to the difference between the value of your home and the remaining mortgage balance (called combined loan-to-value ratio, or CLTV). With a fixed rate of interest on repayments made over a predetermined duration, this sort of loan is typically made in a lump sum. You’ll be required to pay back the entire loan if you sell your home.

Home values have increased overall, meaning that many people have a respectable amount of equity to draw from, which has led to an increase in the popularity of home equity loans.

What advantages do home equity loans offer?

It’s typically not too difficult to apply for a home equity loan if you have enough equity left in your property because this is a secured loan type where you provide collateral, or the equity in your home, in case you can’t repay. Your rate of interest will likely be lower than many other types of loan and credit products as long as you have a strong credit history and the appropriate CLTV.

Home equity loans can also be a wonderful option to get lower monthly payments than other loans because they have a set interest rate. Even if you’re borrowing a significant sum, your monthly expenses may still be manageable if you have a lengthy repayment period.

This kind of financing is also ideal if you want to make improvements to your house. Your home’s overall worth may increase as a result of renovations, allowing you to repay the loan and still have money left over after selling the property.

Reverse mortgage vs home equity in retirement planning
Reverse Mortgage vs Home Equity in Retirement Planning (Source)

What dangers come with taking out a home equity loan?

Despite the advantages listed above, it is wise to exercise caution when applying for a home equity loan. First off, you can end up owing more in the long run and won’t get that bonus payout when you sell if the value of your home doesn’t increase over the loan duration.

Additionally, you must confirm that you are able to make the required payments. This can be difficult if you’re retired. If you don’t make your payments on time, the bank may confiscate your home. It’s crucial to be prepared to make payments throughout the five to 15 years that your home equity loan will likely have a term.

Moreover, think about the purpose of the borrowing. Consider whether it’s worth raising your mortgage balance if you need it to pay for necessities or even luxuries. Given the lengthy terms of these loans, taking out a home equity loan to pay off other obligations may result in higher interest costs than you would have otherwise had to pay.

Will I benefit from a home equity loan?

A lump sum provided by a home equity loan may be quite helpful. But keep in mind that in order to benefit, you’ll need to stay on your property, so if you find yourself in need of residential care, that could cause issues.

A home equity loan, however, can be a wise choice if your retirement income is regular, your health is good, or you’re investing in improving your house.

A reverse mortgage: what is it?

Applying for a reverse mortgage may be possible for homeowners over 62. With a reverse mortgage, as opposed to a regular mortgage, you receive a payment from the bank equivalent to the value of your home instead of borrowing money to buy a property and then repaying it (or the equity you hold in it).

This typically takes the form of a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), which has a maximum loan amount of $970,800. You can borrow a portion of the equity in your property as long as you own at least 50–55% of it. The payment may be made in a series of installments (for instance, fixed monthly payments), as a lump sum, or as a line of credit.

Until you pass away or vacate your home, you won’t have to start making payments. At that point, the payment will be made from the sale’s revenues, up to the borrowed amount.

What advantages can reverse mortgages offer?

You have some freedom with a reverse mortgage since you may decide whether you want set monthly payments, a lump sum, or a line of credit for your repayments.

In your senior years, for instance, having a set monthly contribution could be crucial to covering the cost of in-home care. Additionally, you won’t have to make consistent payments, which may be simpler for you if you’re retired. The amount you get is considered a loan advance rather than income, so it is tax-free.

With a reverse mortgage, you can continue to profit from high property values even if they decline over time because the value of your home is locked in at the time of borrowing. Additionally, your heirs won’t be required to make additional loan payments if the value of your home declines below the total owing.

What dangers do reverse mortgages pose?

There are a few risks connected to this loan kind, though. You could lose ownership of your property if you were forced to leave your house and move into, say, a senior living community outside of your neighbor-hood.

In order for the lender to receive enough money from the sale of the property to repay the loan, you must also maintain your home in good condition. You might have to pay back the loan early if you stop performing regular home maintenance and the value of the property decreases. Additionally, you must continue to pay your property taxes and insurance.

Importantly, keep in mind that the earnings from the sale of your home won’t entirely go to your family if you’re considering leaving them an inheritance because the lender will take a portion first. Therefore, if you spend up all of your equity, your heirs could not receive much.

A reverse mortgage also comes with a variety of other costs, including origination fees (which go toward processing the loan), upfront and recurring mortgage insurance premiums, maintenance fees, and supplementary fees like credit checks.

And beware: because the thought of receiving a regular payoff is alluring, some seniors have fallen for reverse mortgage frauds. Therefore, be careful when selecting your provider.

Is a reverse mortgage right for me?

With the reverse mortgage, you have more options for how you receive payments and can save on taxes than you would with a home equity loan. However, it could not work for you if leaving your property to your heirs is vital to you.

Therefore, it’s crucial to complete your homework before obtaining a reverse mortgage. It might even be a good idea to seek out mortgage professional assistance first.

Conclusion- Reverse Mortgage vs Home Equity in Retirement Planning

There are several reasons why you might require access to some money as you age. Unlocking the value of your property may be a good method to increase your income flow, regardless of whether you need it for health care, family support, or to live the retirement you’ve always wanted. The answer might be a home equity loan or a reverse mortgage, but do your homework before making a decision.

If you want a sizable lump sum of money to play with, a home equity loan can be a good option. However, you should be aware of the conditions, such as the need to live in your house. Although the reverse mortgage is more flexible, if you want to leave your property to your heirs after you pass away, be careful not to deplete their inheritance. Before you decide, it’s a good idea to give it some careful thought and perhaps seek professional guidance.

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